Hooded Klan figures first appeared in Guston’s works after one of his Los Angeles murals was vandalized by the Ku Klux Klan in 1933. Of these figures, Guston said, “They are self-portraits. I perceive myself as being behind the hood… . The idea of evil fascinated me … I almost tried to imagine that I was living with the Klan. What would it be like to be evil?”
Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.